Sunday, August 07, 2005

Why pick on "anon?"

It may seem as though I've been picking on "anonymous" lately, by featuring his/her comments in a serious of posts, answering them or dealing with some aspect of them. And you might ask why I'm doing this.

I don't usually respond to trolls, since I think they thrive on the attention and I have no desire to give them what they crave. Besides, it's a waste of time to answer a troll, since trolls aren't interested in the exchange of ideas, they are interested in annoying people and getting them to waste their time posting long exhaustive answers filled with points that can never convince the troll, no matter how persuasive they might be.

But a poster such as "anonymous" is not a troll. I'm not sure what his/her motivation is in posting (or even if it's always the same person, since he/she is anonymous). But "anonymous" often raises some interesting questions, and whether or not he/she (boy, that formulation gets tiring!) is interested in my answers, I am interested in many of his/her questions or points. They can be used as a springboard to do some research and to air some ideas of my own.

But it occurred to me that part of the reason I'm interested in some of what "anonymous" has to say is that he/she sometimes speaks for my liberal self. Now, my liberal self was never rude or abrasive, as "anonymous" sometimes is (or, as one of them sometimes is?). I was a kinder, gentler version of "anonymous." Nor was I ever a leftist, so I would never ascribe to some of the more extreme opinions some of the "anonymi" (I'm having trouble finding the plural of the word--help, anyone?) might proffer.

But a question such as the one anonymous posed about why the US didn't drop the atom bomb in some unpopulated area as a demonstration of its power to see whether Japan would surrender is the sort of question I myself might easily have asked, in all seriousness and with good intentions, just a few short years ago. The difference between then and now is that now I have more information with which to answer it, and more tools such as the internet to research it--and probably, because of 9/11 and its aftermath, more interest in the question itself.

19 Comments:

At 9:49 PM, August 07, 2005, Blogger captain mike said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:50 PM, August 07, 2005, Blogger captain mike said...

why didn't japan bomb NEAR pearl harbor and execute straw scarecrow-versions of civilians in Nanking or POWS as demonstrations of its power?

We may never know.

 
At 10:23 PM, August 07, 2005, Anonymous David Thomson said...

A few years ago I simply assumed that America dropped atom bombs on Japan because of its racial minority status. We decided against doing so on European soil merely because of the high number of white people. It is only recently when I realized that I had been conned by politically correct leftists. Jack Cashill’s most recent book, -Hoodwinked : How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture- explains in great detail how we have been suckered by our intellectual “elites.”

 
At 10:24 PM, August 07, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

We could shoot our million dollar missles into the sand or fly our stealth bombers over the Antartic as a demonstration of power - how about if our troops shot each other as a demonsration of our capability? We could also fire artillery shells that explode and send neatly written little messages saying in affect we could hurt you if we really wanted to. I have never really encountered anything quite like this. We should have invaded Iraq with big signs on our tanks that read " we have ammunition at home - don't make us go get it!" How about at Fallujah - the Marines could have shot jihadis with paint balls then yelled at them, " we have real bullets in Baghdad - throw down your rifles or we will go get them!" Better yet, we should have emptied our grade schools and sent the kids over to Iraq with signs on them that read " We have trained soliders at home, lay down your weapons, now!"

 
At 10:29 PM, August 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice blog site!! Lots of info, bookmarked it.

I have a Hunter Ceiling Fan Light site/blog. It pretty much covers Hunter Ceiling Fan Light related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time.

 
At 12:05 AM, August 08, 2005, Blogger Darwin said...

As always, the rational of revisionist apologetics mystifies me. I'm amazed that anyone could suggest that such a "demonstration" could have even been possible, let alone believe that it might have worked. The disconnection of liberals and the left both with the mindset of WWII America and the reality of our current world at large boggles my mind.

Thank you for such a thoughtful blog. I honestly learn something new every time I read.

 
At 12:11 AM, August 08, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

For some reason lately there have been a lot of spammers in the comments section here (for example, anonymous commenter above with the exceedingly pertinent Hunter Ceiling Fan Light link. Makes me almost ashamed to own a Hunter Ceiling Fan).

The spammers are quite sophisticated now, trying to throw us poor narcissistic bloggers off the track with their little offhand compliments about how much they love our sites :-).

Why the spammers have come this weekend is anyone's guess. I have removed the other spam comments, but I left this one as an example of what I'm talking about for those who aren't familiar with the genre.

I like to have open comments here. To facilitate an easy back-and-forth conversation I don't even require registration. But that leaves the site open to the anonymous spammer hordes.

Back on topic:
Goesh--great suggestions. That surely would have shown them, right?

 
At 12:20 AM, August 08, 2005, Blogger neuroconservative said...

Great conversation on your boards this weekend, neo. (Want to buy a ceiling fan?)

I am pleased that "Huck" came out of anonymity, and would love for other "anonymi" to come out and explain something that has always boggled my mind:

How can you possibly, even for a moment, think that a "demonstration" explosion would have led to a surrender, when an actual detonation that killed tens of thousands did not?

 
At 3:24 AM, August 08, 2005, Blogger jj mollo said...

I would like to recommend the plural-shifted anti-specific gender fudge as an appropriate formulation for avoiding the he/she slash blurt. Simply explain to the person that they are welcome to state their unbiased opinion.

 
At 6:06 AM, August 08, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

Question : Have you read any of Ronald Radosh's books e. g. "Commies" or "The Rosenberg File"?

 
At 7:21 AM, August 08, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Once we have placated and bought off the jihadis and apologized a million times and reasoned with them and been empathetic and sympathetic, there will be no justification for acting out on their part anymore. Then we can start to eliminate aggression in the animal world. We can start with the Lions - our military can air-drop soyburgers to them so they won't have to attack helpless animals and eat them. Intelligent reasoning will prevail - all I am saying is give peace a chance.

 
At 10:33 AM, August 08, 2005, Anonymous E.M.H. said...

Ceiling fan spam? Jeez... mine consists of all sorts of *ahem* male enhancement products. Yuk...

At any rate...

I look on dropping an A-bomb on a deserted island as something akin to shooting a pistol in the air when threatened. Both will fail to dissuade opponents truly dedicated to defeating you, and both not only waste valuable time in responding to the opponent, they also show weakness in that you're not willing to take the necessary steps to defend yourself, but rather are satisfied with symbolic actions that pretend strength instead of actually demonstrating real strength.

I fear that too many are enamored with the concept of symbology in place of action. Symbolic actions, demonstrations, bluffs, whatever you choose to call it, can only have power if the opponent has the mindset that you're willing to carry out the threat. I'm not certain that a mere demonstration would've contributed to that mindset. As I stated in a previous post, to me an A-bomb demonstration carries the opposite message: "Look, we're not willing to go all the way against you". I mean, we would have wasted a powerful, obviously hard to manufacture (I say obviously in the face of the failures of other nations in developing an A-bomb) weapon in vaporizing a hunk of rock and sand when it could be put to use vaporizing assets necessary to Japan's prosecution of the war. Are we certain that the Japanese command would've been impressed by this?

 
At 11:49 AM, August 08, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Well said, e.m.h., very well said. "Enamored with the concept of symbols in place of action."
I relate this to our system of Jurisprudence as a means of deterring terrorism. Imagine the dread a jihadist must have at the thought of incarceration in an American prison - 3 good meals a day of halal food, climate controled environment, complete medical care, a well stocked library and law library, full and freelegal representation, conjugal visits, a mosque, copies of the quran and other islamic literature, some good exercise equipment, fresh air in the yard, television and videos and stereos, other recreational opportunities, opportunities for education and welfare for the family if they happen to be living in the US. Unless family members were convicted of assisting, they would remain and most likely would qualify for welfare. No wonder they hold us in such utter, visceral and lethal contempt. Our actions give them hope, they do. As you pointed out, certain mind-sets only regard all of this as fear and weakness, nothing more. As they behead and torture people and blow up children getting candy, do they at all wonder why we take their wounded and provide them state-of-the-art medical care? In the cadres of jihadic leadership, this must surely be regarded as arrogance on our part to be exploited. I saw part of a special on human ancestors and they did a portrayal of our ancestors and Cro-Magnon man encountering each other over a fresh kill. German scientists have shown via DNA analysis that Cro-Magnon were genetically distinct. Anyway, they both stared at each other for a while, then our ancestors ran down Cro-Magnon man and speared him to death. We must do the same to the islamofacists, there is no other alternative.

 
At 10:13 PM, August 08, 2005, Anonymous huck said...

Neo,

As a former anonymous I can say there a number of reason's why I chose to post as anonymous. One big reason is that if I was bullied and dismissed by others in the comment section during one strand, I could always return when the topic had changed and be listened to. It enabled me to say what I really thought and not stick with one orthodox view on either the left or right. I could express a left leaning attitude on one topic, moderate the next, etc.

 
At 10:15 PM, August 08, 2005, Anonymous huck said...

goesh,

Your comments are really funny and clever here, but don't you think an atomic bomb is just a little different than all those other weapons? I've always heard that they decided against the demonstration dropping because they only had two bombs at the time and could not risk wasting one on just a demonstration.

 
At 1:23 AM, August 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neo-neocon wrote:

But a poster such as "anonymous" is not a troll. I'm not sure what his/her motivation is in posting (or even if it's always the same person, since he/she is anonymous).

Sorry for not replying earlier, I was dog-sitting all day without Internet access.

I posed the question because I didn't know the answer. Thanks for highlighting it, the discussion provided food for thought.

I noted that one common defense of the use of the bomb is an informed appraisal of the enemy's point of view (motivation, values, culture, factions, etc.).

Can the strategists on this board claim to be as empathetic with the islamists, or, for that matter, the broader arab discourse?

 
At 3:20 AM, August 09, 2005, Blogger neuroconservative said...

Anon --

Thank you for coming back to the conversation. I am curious to know what you mean by "food for thought." Have you changed or re-thought your position?

As for your question about the Islamists, I have posted at length here.

I look forward to continuing a dialogue with you -- Please pick a screen name of some sort to make the conversation easier.

Cheers,

Neuro-con

 
At 10:02 AM, August 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not in the conversation. If I picked a screen name, I would be.

I read your piece. Doesn't seem to get at the root.

Apparently Bin Laden will yack on for 40 minutes on his videos, but you're lucky to find one minute's worth of translation. Primary sources, you know? It would be nice to see the substance engaged by more Americans.

The other side of the coin is the broader arab dialogue. This is the best synopsis I've found:

The Arab Discourse and the International Role

It's an MIT lecture. Check out the speaker's credentials.

I'm actually trying to wean myself off American politics. It was a two-hour-a-day habit for almost two years. I'm not American and the whole thing was making me miserable and angry. I just came back to this place, where the former left hang out with ear collectors, to post about Hiroshima. And now I'm gone again.

Peace.

 
At 10:36 AM, August 09, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Talked to a couple of college kids about using The Bomb on Japan instead of Germany.
Their prof said it was because of racist reasaons.
I encouraged them to look up the dates of Trinity, VE Day, and the Hiroshima raid.
They were enraged. What happened in their class can be imagined. I hope they kept their mouths shut in class and only told their friends.
Still got to get the grade.

 

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